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Health Winners & Losers: Barr

Health stocks were fairly level Thursday amid quarterly results that registered both beyond and below expectations.

Celgene (CELG) reported a first-quarter loss of $1.64 billion, or $3.98 a share, largely due to $1.74 billion in charges related to its acquisition of Pharmion, a deal that closed March 8. Sales of multiple myeloma drug Revlimid totaled $286.8 million, supporting Celgene's quarterly revenue of roughly $462 million.

Factoring out one-time charges, the company reported a profit of $159.3 million, or 36 cents a share. The Thomson Reuters consensus target - generally calculated on an adjusted basis -- was 34 cents a share, on a top line of $444 million.

The company also incorporated its acquisition into 2008 estimates, resulting in a 5-cent to 10-cent per-share dilution and guidance of $1.45 a share, on revenue of $2.1 billion. Shares fell 1% to $62.47.

Barr Pharmaceuticals (BRL) fell 23.3% to $38.10 after missing estimates and trimming 2008 guidance.

Its first-quarter profit increased 91% year over year to $23 million, or 21 cents a share, on a GAAP basis. But on an adjusted basis, excluding special items, the company earned 57 cents a share, down from 73 cents a share in the 2007 period. Revenue crept up 2% to $608 million, but also fell short of its portion of the Thomson Reuters view -- which usually factors out special items -- of 78 cents a share on $684.1 million.

Barr also reined in its 2008 estimates, guiding to an earnings range of $2.75 to $3.05 a share, down from its prior view of between $3.05 and $3.35.

Xenoport (XNPT) also missed views Wednesday after market close. The company reported a loss of $7.3 million, or 29 cents a share, vs. a loss of $3.3 million, or 14 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue declined 9% to $15 million on lower partner payments. Results missed the Street view of a loss of 2 cents a share on $23.7 million in revenue, and after opening lower, shares fell another 1.9% to $40.22.

Meanwhile, BioCryst (BCRX) reported a loss of $13.1 million, or 34 cents a share, widened from a loss of $8.8 million, and 30 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue rose to $10.8 million, from $9.2 million. The results fell far below analysts' estimates of a loss of 18 cents a share on revenue of $19.8 million. Shares were down 7% at $2.93.

Both Xenoport and BioCryst are components of the Nasdaq biotechnology index, which edged up 0.4% to 796.42, despite their respective declines.

One stock supporting the index, specialty pharmaceutical company Durect (DRRX) shot up 21.6% to $4.62 on Thursday. Its recent quarter benefitted from better expense-revenue alignment. The company met analysts' expectations and narrowed its loss in the recent quarter to $7.8 million, or 11 cents a share, from a loss of $8.8 million, or 13 cents a share, a year prior. Revenue increased 12% to $6.4 million.

In other health stocks, hospice care provider Odyssey Healthcare (ODSY) said its recent quarter benefitted from increasing admissions. The stock added 15.3% to $10 on higher-than-average trading volume.

Net income fell to $1.5 million, or 5 cents a share, from 11 cents a share, a year earlier, but the company said it earned $2.5 million, or 14 cents a share, on an adjusted basis factoring out divested operations and charges.

Adjusted profit and revenue, which rose 21% to $124.8 million, beat the Thomson Reuters target of 10 cents a share on $118.7 million.

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